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SECDEF Hagel on DOMA Ruling

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has wasted no time issuing a full-throated statement endorsing today’s DOMA ruling:

 The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act.  The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies.  The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible.  That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.

Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment.  All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so.  Today’s ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.

As I noted on another thread earlier in the day, the military case is perhaps the most compelling for why 50 state laws on same-sex marriage can’t endure long. It would be perverse, indeed, if two soldiers married while stationed at Fort Drum but were rendered effectively unmarried when ordered to Fort Bragg. And, indeed, until today, one of them could have been killed while earning a Medal of Honor in Afghanistan and his husband would have been entitled to neither survivor benefits nor even to receive the flag and medal.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. legion says:

    Have I mentioned lately that I like this Hagel guy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  2. anjin-san says:

    Have I mentioned lately that I like this Hagel guy?

    Hagel, unlike countless right wing armchair warriors, knows what it’s like to put your ass on the line for your country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Definitely a RINO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Casey says:

    I don’t believe a same-sex couple who move to a state where the marriage is not recognized would be denied any federal benefits. A couple can be married in New York, move to Kansas, and still be protected federally (state laws would definitely get tricky, though). As for military members, each have a “home of record”. So, where ever the home of record is located is where the member is a resident for all intents and purposes. Therefore, I don’t see a “permanent change of station” to a state where same-sex marriage is not recognized to be a problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0